Radio Equipment Directive

The 2014/53/EU Radio Equipment Directive (RE Directive) replaces the 1999/5/EC-R&TTE Directive per June 13, 2016 with a transition period till June 13, 2017.

The RE Directive covers only radio equipment. Normal telecom equipment moves from R&TTE Directive to the EMC Directive and Low Voltage Directives. It’s introduction will lead to substantial changes in the market. Some products that were covered by the R&TTE will no longer be covered by the RE Directive, others that were not covered by the R&TTE now will be covered by the RE Directive. This means new and or updated CE DoC’s need to be produced. There are also significant changes with respect to the aim of this directive. Of course the main aim is to create an open and competitive single market. Moreover, it aims to ensure a high level of health and safety protection, and to avoid harmful interference. Now also functional requirements have been specified regarding performance, prevention of disturbance of networks, protection of personal data, access of visually impaired.

Placing on the market means the “supply of a product for distribution, consumption or use on the EU community market in the course of a commercial activity, whether in return for payment or free of charge”.

Manufacturers and suppliers of radio and telecommunications terminal equipment, including Air Traffic Management Equipment (ATME), wishing to place their products on the European Union market must demonstrate compliance with the protection requirements of the RE directive by providing the following:

  • Technical Construction File (TCF)
  • Declaration of conformity (DoC) that shows how compliance is achieved
  • CE marking to indicate compliance

If you are not familiar with the procedure, it is recommended to involve a party that is specialized in product compliance, especially when harmonized standards are not applied. The R&TTE directive applies to all markets within the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland.

Essential requirements and harmonised European standards of the RE directive

The European Commission requires member states to ensure that devices comply with the essential requirements of the RE directive where it is properly installed, maintained and used, which is a condition for it being placed on the market.

The following essential requirements are applicable to the devices that fall under the RE directive:

  • Protection of the health and safety of the user and any other person, including the security provisions laid down in directive 2014/35/EU relating to electrical equipment designed for use within certain voltage limits (but with no lower voltage limit); Electromagnetic compatibility as in directive 2014/30/EU;
  • Use of the spectrum allocated to terrestrial/space radio communication and to orbital resources, which make it possible to avoid harmful interference.

When a device is in conformity with harmonized European standards, in accordance with the procedures established by directive 2014/53/EU, the member states assume that the current RE directive’s requirements have been met.

Devices that comply with all the essential requirements may bear the CE conformity marking. Manufacturers identify their devices by stating its type, batch and/or serial numbers and by the name of the manufacturer or of the person responsible for placing the device on the market.

Information and notification

The EU member states are also required to ensure that the manufacturers or the persons responsible for placing the device on the market provide information on its use in the documentation or packaging, together with the declaration of conformity with the essential requirements.

More specifically, for radio equipment, this information must be sufficient to identify on the packaging and in the instructions for use of the device the member states or the geographical area within a member state where the equipment is intended to be used.

ProductIP provides you with a list of all requirements that need to be met and of documentation that needs to be provided in order to sell the product in the different EU member states.

Putting into service and the safeguard clause

EU member states may restrict the putting into service of radio equipment for reasons relating to the efficient and appropriate use of the radio spectrum, the need to avoid harmful interference, or public health issues. If a member state decides that a device does not satisfy the requirements of the safeguard clause, it may take measures to withdraw it from service, to prohibit its being in service or to restrict its free movement.

ProductIP offers a solution that provides you with the most comprehensive product-specific requirement list and enables you to create technical files proving compliance. Want to know more about the RE directive, the requirements that need to be met and whether the directive applies to your products?

Scope of the RE directive

Radio and telecommunications terminal equipment includes all products using the radio frequency spectrum (car door openers, mobile communications equipment like mobile telephones, CB radio, broadcast transmitters, etc.) and all equipment attached to public telecommunications networks (e.g. ADSL modems, telephones, telephone switches).

The directive also applies where this equipment:

  • Incorporates, as an integral part or as an accessory, a medical device within the meaning of directive 93/42/EEC on medical devices;
  • Incorporates, as an integral part or as an accessory, an active implantable medical device within the meaning of directive 90/385/EEC on active implantable medical devices;
  • Constitutes a component or a separate technical unit of a vehicle, within the meaning of directive 72/245/EEC relating to radio interference caused by motor vehicles;
  • Constitutes a component or a separate technical unit of a vehicle, within the meaning of directive 2002/24/EC relating to the type-approval of two- or three-wheel motor vehicles.

The directive does not apply to devices exclusively used for activities related to public security, defence, state security and the activities of the state in the area of criminal law; nor does it apply to a series of other exemptions.

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